A Defense of Unlimited Atonement

For Further Study

The following resources are recommended:

  1. Did Christ Die Only for the Elect?—A Treatise on the Extent of Christ's Atonement, by Norman F. Douty (Wipf and Stock Publishers, Eugene, Oregon). This is a very helpful book written on the extent of the atonement, but I do not endorse everything taught in the book, nor do I necessarily endorse Douty’s other books.

  2. The Death Christ Died – A Biblical Case For Unlimited Atonement (Revised Edition, 1998) by Robert P. Lightner [Kregel]. This is an excellent defense of the doctrine of unlimited atonement by a respected Bible teacher and theologian. There is an appendix dealing with the teaching of Dr. John MacArthur on this issue (pages 161-165).

  3. The Extent of the Atonement by James Morison (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1882). Excellent well-written study by this Scottish believer of the 19th century. It is available from GOOD BOOKS (2456 Devonshire Rd., Springfield, IL 62703). I have quoted from this work throughout this paper.

  4. Universal Redemption of Mankind by Richard Baxter (printed in London, 1694). A massive study of this issue (502 pages) but written in old English ("s" written as "f", etc.) and hard to follow. Available from GOOD BOOKS (address given above under #3).

  5. Did Christ Die Only for the Elect? By Charles R. Smith [BMH Books, Winona Lake, Indiana]. This is a helpful booklet which shows the problems with the limited atonement position.

  6. For Whom Did Christ Die? Systematic Theology, Vol. III, by Lewis Sperry Chafer, Chapter X, pages 183-205. This is an excellent discussion of this issue. Chafer looks at the extent of the atonement from the three aspects of Christ’s cross-work: redemption (sinward), reconciliation (manward) and propitiation (Godward).

  7. The Extent of the Atonement, Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie, Chapter 55, pages 318-323.

  8. Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism by C. Gordon Olson, his chapter on "For Whom Did Christ Die?" and his appendix on "Quotations from Calvin on General Redemption." This recommendation does not mean that I agree with everything in Olson’s book.   See also Getting the Gospel Right by the same author, Chapter 16, "Christ really died for every sinner" (pages 202-215).

  9. Systematic Theology, Volume Three (Sin and Salvation) by Dr. Norman Geisler, chapter 12 ("The Extend of Salvation–Limited or Unlimited Atonement"), pages 347-388.
  10. Redemption Redeemed—A Puritan Defense of Unlimited Atonement, by John Goodwin (1593-1665), edited by John D. Wagner [Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Oregon, 2004]. A defense of unlimited atonement from a Puritan writer and English pastor (1593-1665). It is written in typical Puritan style, very wordy and often hard to follow, but if anyone has the patience to wade through this material carefully, he will discover useful arguments.

        --George Zeller (revised 6/96;12/99;10/01; 9/04, 8/06)

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